What kind of pillow should I be using to sleep on?

By Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

If we sleep an average of 8 hours per day and you live to be 75 years old, we will have spent around 25 YEARS SLEEPING!  

If we are going to spend YEARS of our lives sleeping, it will serve us well to be sleeping in a healthy posture and on an appropriate pillow.  

Sleeping in the below postures and the appropriate pillow will help prevent back pain, neck pain, numbness and tingling in your arms/legs, and fatigue.

While looking for a pillow, there are 2 major functions the pillow should provide:

1) Provide support to the proper neck curve while on your back.

2) Keep your neck aligned with your spine while on your side.


There are a plethora of pillows to choose from, but not all will provide support while sleeping on your back and on your side.  While comparing pillows look at the pillow.  If possible, lay on the pillow.  Does it support your neck’s ideal curve while on your back?  Does the pillow keep your neck aligned while on your side?  If not, then move on to the next pillow.

I use a Therapeutica pillow.  I like this pillow because you get measured for it, so that it is the appropriate size to provide support while sleeping on your side and while on your back.  It looks different than other pillows, but it is designed for you to sleep in the middle of the pillow while on your back and on the sides of the pillow while on your side.  In my opinion, it is best pillow on the current market.



There may be other pillows that fit the criteria described above, if so, try it out and let me know how you like it.  I love having options and will pass the information on to my patients.

In summary, we sleep for about one third of our life.  Sleeping in a healthy postures means that your spine is supported in the ideal posture.  Your pillow should support the natural curve of your neck while on your back and keep your spine aligned while on your side.  There are many pillows to choose from, so base your decision on how well it supports your spine.

Sleep well!